New proposals announced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan on June 22nd include new road charging based on the distance travelled and vehicle emissions. In response, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has stated that it could actually be a positive step for freight operators.
Instead of a blanket charge like the congestion charge currently enforced in Central London, the new charging system takes into account the distance travelled. This could be of benefit to freight operators as it helps to differentiate them from private and private-hire vehicles that are simply making short journeys within the capital that could be done by public transport instead.
Likewise, reducing the number of private vehicles on London’s roads could help freight operators move around the city more efficiently.
The proposals could also be helped along by new technology, like electric vehicles and location sensors. Indeed, the FTA has expressed hopes that emerging technology is considered by the Mayor to help make the proposals more viable. Sensors could be used to track the time of day, distance travelled and emissions of a vehicle to give a more accurate charge tailored to each vehicle instead of the current congestion charge.
The new transport strategy is in consultation until October 2nd and a final plan is expected by early 2018. You can read the full document here.